The first time since the bizarre unraveling of one of the most covered stories of 2009 and even into 2010, Tiger Woods is set to make a public apology (which we’ll post a link to here after it’s over, of course). It is being done at the TPC Sawgrass, home of the PGA tour, to a very limited amount of people described as a group of friends, family and colleagues, and only a few members of the press. The remainder of the uninvited will have to watch via satellite over a mile away. Not surprisingly, Tiger will not be taking questions.
While that alone may seem like news itself, the timing of the event is greatly in question as a possible swipe from Tiger Woods to Accenture. This weekend is big for Accenture since they are the sponsor for the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona that will be in the middle of its third round when Tiger makes his apology. As you may recall, Accenture was the first to cut Tiger from their sponsorship roster when the scandal broke.
None were as annoyed as Ernie Els. The former U.S. Open and British Open Champion didn’t mince words as he told Golfweek magazine, “It’s selfish. You can write that. I feel sorry for the sponsor. Mondays are a good day to make statements, not Friday. This takes a lot away from the golf tournament.”
Tiger’s agent Mark Steinberg said that the announcement will be done well outside of their TV window and that Accenture officials were notified in advance that this was occurring and there were no issues. Even PGA commissioner Tim Finchem said that it most likely would have a positive effect by drawing crowds in to see what “this game of golf is about.” Besides the fact that people will watch simply to hear the inevitable commentary.
Regardless, Tiger has to win back the hearts and minds of fans again and even PGA officials agreed that there has been a huge financial hit with Tiger out of the mix. A near 50% drop. When he eventually decides to come back, the level of his fame will have severely dwindled along with a greatly diminished draw.
The saddest of it all is the children that have watched the rise and fall of their hero, which is a crying shame. There probably isn’t a way to recuperate from that aspect and it’s the worst of all of the fallout from this fiasco. Tiger’s image is tarnished and it could have been salvaged if he either waited to get married until he got it all out of his system, or simply maintained control of himself. Either way, hindsight is 20/20.